Christmas Eve chicks!! Will the hen be able to keep warm? 5 dead now.

Discussion in 'Incubating & Hatching Eggs' started by dianneS, Dec 24, 2009.

  1. dianneS

    dianneS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2009
    South Central PA
    Well, I had a hen go broody a few weeks ago. I gave her the eggs I wanted her to hatch, some of them refrigerated for a few days. I thought they would all hatch at the same time that way. I've never done this before. I candled her eggs last week and two of them were questionable. I've been concerned that she may not be able to pull this one off at all, with the cold weather we've had recently.

    Well, she did it!! I just went out to find five chicks under her and the last one had pipped the shell, I could see a beak so I'm sure it will hatch okay.

    I just hope that this weather isn't too cold for them and mom knows to keep them extra warm?? I'm so pleased so far, I hope all goes well. Four of them should be EE's and the other two are 3/4 EE, 1/4 silky mixed bantam. Maybe with that 1/4 banty in them, I could get some EE's that might go broody?? If those two are hens anyway!

    Do you think they'll be okay in the cold? Its supposed to be around and above freezing for the next few days. Should I let mom out to free range once she's off the nest, or keep her in the hen house? I gave her a handful of chicken feed in her nest and she gobbled it up. Actually a few babies popped their heads out to check out the food too!!

    *Update* The hen got off the nest, only one chick followed her, the other five got cold and died. [​IMG] She was in a second story nest box, with a ramp, but I think the babies were afraid to come down from the nest. That is all I can make of it anyway. No other signs of injury to the chicks.

    I did take the last chick from her, but I have older chicks in the brooder and they started picking on the little one right away. I thought about dividing the brooder, but I felt bad for the poor little thing having to be all alone. I took the chick back to mom, I made several nesting spots easily accessible to her, on the floor and slightly elevated. I buried the chicks this morning. Seems like the one survivor is an EE, not a cross breed. Mom is taking good care of this one so far. Maybe in this weather one is all she could really keep warm anyway? Its still upsetting though. [​IMG] Still considering bringing the little one inside again?? [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2009
  2. bigdawg

    bigdawg AA Poultry

    Jun 28, 2009
    middle tenn
    they would be better off inside a draft free coop. i have a first timer silkie with three babies that hatched a week ago,her sister is due christmas day and the other sister is due 1-4 2010. so far she is doing a great job with them inside the coop. and i am in mid tenn. she did all the work so at least let her try. thats what i am doing. its nature at its best. good luck.
     
  3. Marlinchaser

    Marlinchaser Chillin' With My Peeps

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    MERRY LAND
    I kept mine inside for the first 4-5 weeks, she hatched Christmastime last year, was 0 degrees for at least a week of that time. I let her take the chicks out beginning in Feb, and they all did fine.
     
  4. dianneS

    dianneS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2009
    South Central PA
    I'm just keeping the hen house door closed. There is food and water and several nest boxes she can keep them in. I think she'll know enough not to take them out in the yard with this snow on the ground. At least its going to be above freezing for the next few days. So far, she hasn't gotten off the nest with them yet, but I gave her some food on the nest and she and a few of the chicks popped out to eat some!
     
  5. Scoop

    Scoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2009
    Central PA
    Oh wow are you lucky! I'm so envious![​IMG] We need pictures! [​IMG]
     
  6. dianneS

    dianneS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2009
    South Central PA
    Sorry, no pics. The hen got off the nest. The chicks did not follow her for some reason. She abandoned them long enough that they all died. I found all of them dead in the nest box and the hen is nesting on the floor. She may have one chick with her. I'm so angry I'm thinking of taking that last chick from her (if she even has one). I have some four week old chicks in a brooder in the house. I wish I would have put these babies in the house too. This is just so upsetting.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2009
  7. mulia24

    mulia24 Chillin' With My Peeps

    what the.... you should take other baby from her (if available) i've 2 hens hatched out 3 chicks yesterday and today, i took 2 out to brooder and 1 still with mom since it still wet, my hens are good mom, village chicken behavior is great but she can't fight my dog, so i take care of the babies, i've suffered many losses and learned from it.


    you should not trust her anymore, but there still another possibilities, maybe that's not her that abandoned them, perhaps the babies are being killed by rat or predator. some breed are tough mom when other are stupid mom.

    i'm sorry for your losses.
     
  8. dianneS

    dianneS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 16, 2009
    South Central PA
    Quote:I am thinking of taking the last baby from her. She seems to be doing okay with it so far. I don't know what type of mother she is, these are the first chicks she's hatched for me. I think the chicks were afraid to come down the ramp from the nest box, and with the cold weather we had yesterday, just didn't last long without mom for warmth.
     
  9. Scoop

    Scoop Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 16, 2009
    Central PA
    Oh, I am so sorry!!! I didn't expect bad news! I was hoping for neat pictures! Oh, my goodness I am just so sorry. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  10. Cornychick

    Cornychick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sebastian County, AR
    Do you have a Large dog crate laying around that you could put them in for a few days till baby gains more confidence and can keep up with mom better?
     

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